Britt and Bill take a look at spiritual practices on the edges of society. Tarot, Necromancy, Divination, Crystals, Clairvoyance, Reiki, and many others. What is real and what isn’t and how can we know. And if some or even all of these practices contain no real supernatural processes, can they still be useful?


One Reply to “Almost Awakened: 107: Separating Spirituality From Woo”

  1. This podcast has been sitting in my queue for…the whole time, but this episode title caught my attention. THEN I realized I was listening to the same Britt I needed more of after hearing her “State of the Spiritual Word” last fall. And here she was all along. Binge queue set.

    I gravitated to this title, I think, because of a recent thought: a lot of what we put under the “woo” umbrella shares a quality of caregiving that skews female. Western medicine is very businesslike, matter-of-fact, transactional, and dare I say, stereotypically male: problem -> solution. Energy healing? That’s involves communication and interaction, being seen and listened to, having things you feel but can’t name treated seriously. What our unseen “energy” is or does can’t be scientifically observed (or cured), but there’s no mistaking how deeply healing it feels to have someone care for you.

    Years ago I was in a Turkish hamam, being bathed by a naked woman I didn’t know and whose language I didn’t speak. At one moment in particular, as she pressed my arm against her belly while soaping me, I realized I hadn’t been bathed since I was probably four years old. This was an experience of mothering unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Does it cure diseases? No more than a visit to the cardiologist treats the soul. I left feeling soothed, cared for, and connected to humanity in ways no shower ever managed to accomplish.

    So I’ve been thinking differently of “woo” lately. I too have no space for the magic, but I do have space for mystery, and suspect what much of the reaching for it shows is a stressed species wanting a mother’s care.

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